NATIONAL Restoration Party (NAREP) on the Copperbelt has called on relevant authority to remove all Bonanza gambling machines from the province.
Copperbelt NAREP Chairperson Chipoka Mulenga said Bonanza machines have brought grave distress to the Province.
Mr Mulenga said that as a stakeholder and citizen of the province he feels the removal of the gambling machines would preserve the morality.
“If this is done our morality, economy and bright future of our generation will be reserved and preserved. As such NAREP seeks the immediate removal and permanent ban of the Bonanza gambling machines on the Copperbelt Province.
“The said gambling machines are found in almost all social places such as Bars, Pubs, markets, barber shops, bus, and taxi stations among others. Our school going children, ranging from primary to secondary schools have begun spending coins in such machines with a view of earning an extra one. Leading to them spending more time in gambling than in school and studies. An alarming situation which will lead to an eventual deprive of intellectuals to move the province forward if left unchecked,” he said.
Mr Mulenga who is aspiring candidate for Nchanga Constituency said apart from Intellectual dispossess, the Bonanza machines are ripping apart marriages.
He said the gambling vice has not spared some households because gullible husbands have gone on daily errands to make ends meet.
He said some wives also have resorted to gambling, leaving no one home to prepare for the husband’s return and care for the children the situation he said has brought serious marital squabbles.
“Moral bankruptcy; the scourge has sent youths in loss of entrepreneurial vision and focus on quick money which in turn is resulting in thievery, fighting among other bad vices. And these gambling machines offer no job creation in the Province as they are self-managed once installed. They are only opened and managed by the Chinese owners when withdrawing the coins deposited by our local poorly informed gamblers. Therefore, the gain is only one sided, Chinese side. I wonder if this is the foreign investment we have attracted as a Nation.
“No Economic gain; the gambling machines have proved not to benefit the province in any economical way. We doubt if taxes are even being paid, and at what percentage and ratio? All we see are coins being taken out and wonder what they are being used for, mostly; copper coins bring a lot in suspicion. Is there even any Social and Cooperate Responsibility (CSR) being undertaken by the same machine owners? How much are they reinvesting in the community?” he asked.
Mr Mulenga was optimistic that Chingola District leadership has already carried out a survey regarding the subject matter and aware of the concerns.
“In future, should you wish to allow any foreign or local businesses in the province, please, make sure it will benefit both the locals and the investor?
“Do not mistake this for a political exploit; rather render it an economic and social concern from provincial stake holders. In any well-meaning society, gambling must be controlled and protect the younger generation,” he said.
By JOHN SAKALA